energy efficient space heater

Heating and cooling accounts for more than half of all the energy consumed by US homes, according to the US Energy Information Administration. However, with an energy-efficient space heater, you can stay warm with the minimum amount of electricity.

The top energy efficient space heaters on the market

If you’re looking to buy a new space heater, you’ll find a dizzying array of options available, in various types and using different technologies. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best products around, covering as many different types of energy-efficient space heaters as possible.

1. Our top pick: Dyson HP02 Heater + Fan + Air Purifier

Dyson is known for producing high-quality, reliable products, and this heater and air purifier is no exception. Along with being a powerful and effective heater with temperature control, this unit also has a cooling fan and air purifying functions.

You can control the Dyson HP02 remotely using your smartphone, and monitor air quality in real-time using the Dyson link app. You can also monitor the temperature of the room remotely. This is very handy if your kids are sleeping and you don’t want to wake them up.

Furthermore, because the heater automatically reverts to the low setting once it reaches the pre-set ambient temperature, it uses as little energy as possible.

Also, the Dyson HP02 heater and purifier is ideal for families, as its bladeless design is safe for kids and pets, as well as being easy to clean. 

It’s highly versatile too! Not only can you choose between heat or fan, but also various modes including auto mode, sleep time, and night-time mode.  Although some online users complained that the unit can be pretty noisy in auto mode, the night-time mode offers the quietest settings, with no lights – which is great for helping kids (and adults) sleep.

The unit has a Quietmark accreditation as certified asthma and allergy friendly, with a HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of allergens and pollutants, including small pollen, dust, mold spores, bacteria, and pet dander as small as 0.3 microns. This offers relief to people with asthma, allergies, or other breathing issues, as well as creating a safe, healthy indoor environment in areas with pollution or wildfire smoke.

Some reviewers noted that because there’s no fan in heat mode, the Dyson HP02 doesn’t circulate air, but many also said that the unit can efficiently heat a medium-sized room. You can also choose between focused heat and a wide-spread option, depending on whether you want to heat a small area or a whole room.

What we like:

  • Automatic temperature control: Simply set your preferred temperature, and the unit will revert to the low setting once the ambient temperature reaches this temperature.
  • Remote monitoring: Use the app to monitor the room temperature and air purity from anywhere.
  • Versatile: Not just a heater, you can also use the Dyson HP02 as a cooling fan and powerful air purifier
  • Safe to use around kids and pets: No spinning fan blades and no exposed heating elements means the Dyson HP02 is ideal for homes with small children and pets

What we don’t like:

  • Noisy: The unit can be loud in auto mode, so it might not be great for light sleepers who want to leave it running.

Compact and versatile, this high-quality heater, fan, and air purifier is perfect for families, people with pets, allergies, or asthma, or anyone who wants to efficiently heat a medium-sized room. With automatic temperature control and remote monitoring, you’ll enjoy a clean, healthy, and warm indoor environment while using minimal energy.

2. Runner-up: Vornado VMH500 Whole Room Metal Heater

Our second pick is the Vornado VMH500, thanks to its unique Vortex Action heating system that will effectively heat an entire room with minimal energy usage. The heater’s intelligent thermostat allows you to keep room temperatures consistent without using too much electricity.

The fan-powered Vornado is designed so that the housing stays cool to the touch and it automatically shuts off if it tips over, overheats or if airflow is blocked. While many space heaters have tip-over switches, very few have an air-flow sensor, a valuable extra safety feature.

All these features help to minimize the risk of fire, and avoid burns if you or your kids accidentally touch the front housing. The sturdy metal frame and cord storage area also help to keep things tidy and safe.

The heater also has an easy-to-read front-facing digital display and simple button controls, making it simple and convenient to use. On the downside, some users report that the remote control doesn’t work very well, so you may need to get up to change the settings.

Additionally, the powerful fan is pretty loud according to some online reviewers, though others say they have no issues sleeping with the heater on the lowest setting.

What we like:

  • Vortex Action heating system: This unique technology will circulate the air, quickly and efficiently heating a medium-sized room.
  • Safety features: The Vornado shuts off automatically if it detects excess heat, is tipped over, or if airflow is blocked, minimizing fire risks.
  • User-friendly With push-button controls and front-mounted display, this heater is simple and intuitive to use.

What we don’t like:

  • Loud: Thanks to the powerful fan, this heater can be quite loud on higher settings.

Using advanced technology to effectively heat spaces with minimal energy use, the Vornado VMH500 is an efficient, user-friendly, and powerful heater. With a full five-year warranty, you can be confident that this heater is built to last, and you’ll be able to repair or exchange the unit if you do have any problems.

3. Best budget: Amazon Basics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater

The Vornado and Dyson products above are excellent choices, but they also both come with a pretty substantial price tag. If you’re on a budget, this space heater from Amazon Basics is an excellent alternative.

Although it doesn’t have as many features as more expensive heaters, this compact, energy-efficient heater does a decent job at heating small to medium-sized rooms. It incorporates a dual heating, positive temperature coefficient (PTC) system, and quartz tube, making it energy efficient.

You can also use the eco mode to make it even more energy-efficient, and tailor the settings to your needs by choosing the 750W or 1500W settings and adjusting the electronic setting. At the same time, the heater is relatively-powerful: it can heat a room up to 1000 square feet with 9-foot ceilings.

It comes with an LCD display, will automatically shut off if it overheats, and is aesthetically pleasing with stylish faux wood paneling.

The unit does have some problems with the control panel, particularly in that the display is hard to see from a distance, making it problematic to use the remote control. Some online reviewers also report quality and performance issues, such as the buttons not working properly, or the heater switching modes by itself.

However, like all Amazon Basics products, it’s covered by the company’s one-year limited warranty, meaning it’s covered for material or manufacturing defects for 12 months. So if you do experience any problems, you shouldn’t have any issues getting the product replaced.

What we like:

  • Affordable: This heater comes at a lower price than many competitors.
  • Dual heating system: It boasts a quartz tube, PTC heating systems and eco mode options, making this heater energy efficient.
  • Wooden paneling: The attractive look for this product will look fabulous with classic or retro décor.

What we don’t like:

  • Problematic display The front-panel controls are pretty small enough and hard to read from a distance.
  • Quality control issues: Some online reviewers report quality issues and manufacturing faults.

Inexpensive and energy-efficient, this heater from Amazon Basics is a solid choice if you’re on a budget, with a relatively-powerful heating system and an elegant wood veneer. Given the price tag, it’s not surprising that it’s not the most solidly-built product and quality may be inconsistent, but it is covered by Amazon’s one-year warranty.

4. Best infrared: Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX-WIFI Infrared Heater

The Heat Storm HS-1500 uses an infrared heating system with patented heat exchanger technology. This system works with the humidity in the room to provide gentle heat without reducing oxygen or making the atmosphere dry.

The system also produces heat while keeping the whole unit cool to the touch, even the front grill, meaning avoiding accidental burns, especially with small hands or pets, and reducing the risk of fire.

The heater will generate up to 5200 BTUs of heat, which will not supply a large space, but is ideal for a smaller room or home office. You can choose between two power modes: 1,500 watt and 750 watt, allowing you to save energy when full power is not necessary.

It has an easy-to-read LED panel that shows the ambient temperature, allowing you to easily control the temperature and only use as much energy as you need. Perhaps best of all, this lightweight and compact heater comes with both a wall-mounting bracket and removable feet, so you can choose to install it on the floor or on a wall, allowing you to save space while better targeting the spaces you want to heat.

While WIFI connectivity is available, it doesn’t come included, so you’ll need to pay extra for this feature. This means you won’t be able to control it from another room or outside your home.

What we like:

  • Wall-mountable: The heater is compact, lightweight, and comes with a wall-mounting bracket, so is ideal for installing on a wall or on the floor.
  • Temperature controllable: You can easily control the ambient temperature thanks to the large LED display, allowing you to maintain the perfect temperature while controlling your energy usage.
  • Won’t dry out your space: Thanks to the infrared, heat exchanger technology, this heat will warm your room without reducing humidity or (more importantly) oxygen levels.

What we don’t like:

  • WIFI comes extra: There is a version of the Heat Storm that can be controlled via Wifi, but it’s an added cost and doesn’t come included. It would have been nice to see the WiFi included as part of the standard unit.

Compact, portable, and offering multiple installation options, the Heat Storm’s patented heat exchanger technology makes it effective and energy efficient. This heater also comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

5. Best oil heater: De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater

Oil heaters are one of the most energy-efficient types of space heaters, as the oil retains heat and will stay warm even after the unit is turned off. This De’Longhi oil-filled space heater has a permanently-sealed oil reservoir you’ll never need to refill.

The heater’s patented, high-quality steel exterior has a unique thermal slot design with 25% more radiant surface area that maximizes heat flow while maintaining a low surface temperature. This will heat your room more efficiently, while avoiding overheating the surface of the heater which could cause burns or fires.

It features front analog controls to adjust the thermostat and heat settings, and to set a 24-hour programmable timer. Along with an automatic shutdown function if it overheats, the heater has an anti-freeze setting that automatically turns the unit on when the temperature drops below 44℉.

Like all oil heaters, this product takes a while to heat up, and doesn’t offer as powerful, focused warmth as some others on this list, so isn’t the best choice if you want to be able to quickly heat up your space.

All of these features allow you to heat your space with minimal power usage, and you can also make use of its eco mode for even better energy efficiency.

What we like:

  • Residual heat: The oil reservoir will retain warmth and continue to radiate heat even after it’s been switched off, meaning it works longer using less power.
  • Maximum radiant heat: The innovative thermal slot design emits 25% more heat than other oil heaters without the surface becoming dangerously hot.
  • Programmable timer: The 24-hour programmable timer makes it ideal for pre-heating your room and minimizing energy usage.

What we don’t like:

  • Takes a while to heat up: While very efficient, this oil heater takes longer to heat up than other types of heaters so won’t deliver instant warmth, so people who want to heat their space rapidly might want to opt for one of the other models on this list

Affordable and well-made, the De’Longhi’s unique thermal slot design is very energy-efficient. Although oil heaters take some time to warm up, you can address this by using this model’s programmable timer to pre-heat your space.

6. Best panel heater: De’Longhi Convection Panel Heater

Another quality product from De’Longhi, this heater has a convection panel design with exclusive HI-FI technology and a double fan system for efficient heat distribution. The product is just three inches wide and can be used as free-standing or wall-mounted, so you can use it in small spaces without it getting in the way.

Despite the discreet size, it puts out 5120 BTUs of heating power, enough to comfortably heat a space up to 300 square feet. It also offers an energy-efficient eco mode that automatically adjusts the heat and power settings to maintain a consistent temperature without wasting power.

Along with digital controls and an LED display to adjust the thermostat, timer, and multiple heat settings, this De’Longhi heater has a number of built-in safety settings, including a thermal cutoff and tip-over sensor for fire safety, and anti-freeze setting to help prevent freezing pipes. However, as the display is located on the side, this makes it tricky to view when you mount the heater on a wall.

What we like:

  • Versatile: You can choose between mounting the heater on a wall or as freestanding on the floor. The wall mounting option is great for people who lack floor space, while the freestanding option is fine for those who don’t want to get out their tools
  • Slimline: At just three inches wide, this panel heater won’t get in the way.
  • Stylish design: Slim with a matt black finish, this heater is elegant and unobtrusive.

What we don’t like:

  • Difficult to see the display: The LED display is difficult to see when wall mounted as it’s on the side of the unit.

This powerful slimline panel heater boasts a great range of features and safety precautions, while offering an eco function for better energy efficiency.

7. Best wall plugin: Minetom Wall Outlet Electric Space Heater

This small Minetom heater is a truly portable unit that can be used to heat a small space, plugged directly into an outlet. At just 4.3 x 2.8 x 6.5 inches and sitting against the wall, it’s suitable for even the smallest spaces and can easily be packed in a backpack or carry-on baggage.

The plug rotates up to 180 degrees so you can avoid obstacles and install it anywhere, and produces enough heat to warm a space up to 100 square feet, while using just 350 watts. It also has a digital thermostat, LED display showing the ambient temperature, and 12-hour timer, allowing you to get the perfect temperature while using as little energy as possible.

Safety features include overheat protection and an outer surface that stays cool to the touch when running. It’s also super quiet, producing less than 45 decibels of sound.

What we like:

  • Tiny: This pocket-sized heater is perfect for taking with you on vacation or sitting discretely on the wall of a small space.
  • Programmable timer: The12-hour timer let’s you pre-warm your space without excessive energy use.
  • Very quiet: With an ultra-quiet fan, you’ll be able to work or sleep in peace.

What we don’t like:

  • Not very powerful: Neither the heating element or fan powerful enough for anything larger than a small room.

This wall outlet heater is extremely compact, and highly portable, making it ideal for travel. Though it isn’t suitable for even a medium-sized room, it can comfortably heat up to 100 square feet.

8. Best wall-mounted: EconoHome Wall-Mount Space Heater Panel

This wall-mounted panel heater is very energy-efficient, using just 0.6 KW/HR, less than a third of the energy of conventional space heaters. Despite the low power use and it’s small size – measuring just 24 x 36 inches – this product can heat rooms up to 200 square feet.

The slim, wall-mounted design is less than half an inch thick, and so will sit discreetly on the wall and stay out of the way, and you can even paint the exterior of the panel to match your décor! It also comes with a reflector panel to place behind the unit to radiate heat more efficiently throughout the space.

However, there’s no option to install it as a free-standing unit on the floor, so you’ll need to have adequate wall space to accommodate it. In another negative, several online reviewers mention that the panel’s surface gets very hot, so it could be a hazard, particularly for children and pets.

The unit is made of robust calcium silicate material to prevent cracking and is triple-insulated with an overheat protection for safety.

What we like:

  • Discreet design and suitable for painting: Super slimline, wall-mountable, and suitable to be painted, this heater will blend into any room.
  • Very efficient: This wall-mounted heater will heat a room up to 200 square feet while consuming just 0.6 KW/HR of energy.

What we don’t like:

  • Gets very hot to touch: The front of the panel gets very hot when operating, so has a risk of burns.

If you want the most slimline space heater possible, then the EconoHome is your best choice. It also comes with the benefits of being so efficient that you can save up to 50 percent on your heating bills.

9. Best portable: Brightown Portable Electric Space Heater

This heater from Brightown measures 8 x 6 x 10 inches – making it portable and lightweight with a handle, so it’s easy to move between rooms or take with you on a trip. The small size also means you can place it on a table or counter top if you want and it won’t take up too make space in your room.

Its PTC ceramic heating technology and high-speed fan means it can heat up to 200 square feet in just a few minutes, letting you warm up your space as quickly as possible. The heater is designed to efficiently heat small spaces, instead of your whole house, allowing you to be more energy-efficient and save on your power bills.

The unit has two heat settings – 750 watts and 1500 watts – plus a fan only for cool air, and you can set the temperature anywhere between 0 and 158F.

You won’t have to worry about safety with this Brightown electric space heater: it’s made from flame retardant materials, with an automatic overheat protection system that shuts the heater off automatically if it approaches overheating. It also has a tip-over switch at bottom, so the heater automatically shuts off if it tilts or if you trip over it, to avoid fire hazards and keep your family safe and is ETL-certified and safety tested.

This quiet heater produces less than 45 decibels of sound in normal operating mode so you can read, work, or even sleep while it’s on.

What we like:

  • Compact and lightweight: The small size means it’s highly portable, won’t take up too much space, and can sit on a counter top.
  • Small but mighty: Thanks to the PTC ceramic heating technology and high-speed fan, this heater will effectively heat a small to medium-sized room.
  • Very safe: Its automatic overheat protection system, tip-over switch, and fire retardant materials help to avoid fires and keep your family safe.

What we don’t like:

  • Not suitable for large spaces: This heater is not the right choice if you want to heat a larger room.

This portable, space saving heater comes with plenty of power, so is perfect for an office, bedroom, or small to medium-sized room. It’s also packed with safety features so you’ll be able to leave it on overnight with peace of mind.

10. Best oscillating: Dreo Portable Oscillating Space Heater

This heater from Dreo oscillates up to 70 degrees, circulating the air and allowing you to efficiently heat a wider area. It also uses advanced PTC ceramic technology for powerful heating and targeted warmth.

You can set the temperature between 41 and 95 F, and it has three different heat modes (eco, 1000W, 1500W) as well as fan only mode, to allow you to meet your needs with as little energy use as possible. We also like the heater’s small size: standing at just over 10 inches tall not including its hidden easy-carry handle, it’s portable and space-saving.

The nine-blade fan comes with a DC motor that is super quiet at just 40dB, so it won’t disturb your work or sleep. It also features a detachable filter, making it easy to clean, so you don’t need to make too much effort to prevent it from blowing dust around.

With a sensitive tip-over switch and alarm, automatic shut off sensor at 122F, the heater is designed to avoid fire hazards. It also has reinforced prongs, is made from V0 flame retardant materials, and is cold to touch, so is safe for children and pets.

The heater has an energy-efficient eco mode that will help you lower your power bills and your carbon emissions. Features like an LED display/control panel, thermostat and turn off timer which you can set to between one and 12 hours also help you to control your power use.

What we like:

  • Energy-saving features: The eco mode option, precision thermostat, and turn off timer helps to make this heater energy efficient.
  • Portable: This small heater has an easy-carry handle that can be tucked away, making it easy to move around or transport.
  • Inbuilt safety features: The heater has a range of safety features to avoid fires and burns.

What we don’t like:

  • Thermostat inaccurate: Some online reviewers say the thermostat is off by a couple of degrees, so you may need to experiment with the settings.

Compact, safe, and energy-efficient, this heater’s oscillating fan will allow you to keep your office, bedroom, or RV nice and toasty with minimal power use. The brand also offers a money-back guarantee, so if you’re not happy with the results you can return it.

How to pick the best space heater for your needs

Now that we’ve run through some of the best space heaters out there, we’ll take a deeper dive into what sets the different heating technologies apart and what functions you should look for.

Different types of space heaters

As you might have seen from the reviews above, there are different types of heating technology. Before you can pick between them, you’ll need to know how they work.

Infrared heaters

infrared heater

Infrared heaters emit directed infrared radiation. When that radiation makes contact with an object, it causes it to grow warm. This means infrared heaters are best used to provide direction or spot heating, by aiming them at a specific object.

These kinds of heaters are often used in work settings or garages, rather than in homes. While the heat does quickly diminish once the heater is turned off, infrared heaters are more energy-efficient as they emit 100 percent of the heat they produce, with little to no heat lost in the transfer.

Oil-filled heaters

oil-filled heater

Oil-filled heaters look like traditional water-filled radiators and use much the same system to produce heat. The internal oil reservoir is heated in an oxygen-free container, so it won’t ignite. The heated oil then radiates heat through the metal, heating the room.

Once the oil is hot, it stays hot for an extended period. This means oil-filled heaters don’t need to be permanently on in order to produce heat. Oil-filled heaters with a thermostat only use power to initially heat the oil and then shut off until the oil falls below a certain temperature, making them very efficient. 

The downside of oil-filled heaters is that they don’t project heat very well, making them better suited for smaller rooms. 

Ceramic heaters

Ceramic heaters work by passing a current through a ceramic heating element, which is durable enough to reach a very high temperature. The heat radiated by the ceramic element is then distributed around the room by a fan. 

The vast majority of space heaters are ceramic heaters because they are simple to use, heat up fast, and are energy-efficient.

Convection heaters

Convection heaters operate by drawing air through the unit from underneath. The air then passes over a heating element and rises out through the top of the unit back into the room as warmed air. 

Compared to radiated heat, as you might get from a ceramic or oil-filled radiator, convection heaters distribute heat more evenly and don’t suck as much moisture out of the air. However, they are often slower to heat a room than other types of heaters.

How to use your space heater safely and efficiently

While many space heaters are very energy-efficient, and therefore environmentally friendly, there are some extra steps you can take to get the best out of them:

Turn down central heating before use

If you’re using your space heater to spot heat in a certain area, turn down your central heating system before use. Not only will having two heating systems running in the same room be inefficient, but it will also be hard to get a consistent temperature. 

Heat only one room at a time, when a boost is needed

One of the most efficient ways to use a space heater is to deploy it in a room you expect to stay in for a long period of time and then turn off your central heating. This could be a garage, man-cave, rec room, or home office.

Heating one room is always going to be more efficient than heating your entire house. With radiant heaters, especially oil-filled heaters, the heater doesn’t always need to be on in order to produce heat, making it even more efficient. 

Use your space heater at a low temperature

The vast majority of space heaters will have a low-temperature setting, something around the 750-watt mark. In a smaller space, this setting is more than enough to quickly provide heat. Keeping your space heater at this lower setting optimizes how much energy you are using.

Choose a model with safety and efficiency features

As with any heating system, you’ll want to prioritize units with advanced safety features. These include tip-over sensors that shut the unit off when it falls over and thermal cutouts that shut it off if it overheats. 

Many models will also have features that improve their energy-efficiency. These include eco-modes, intelligent thermostats, and active temperature controls. These systems reduce the amount of heat and energy wasted by the unity to make it more efficient and therefore more environmentally friendly. 

Some WiFi-connected devices also allow you to monitor you heater’s energy consumption and heat output. This data lets you optimize when you use your heater to the best effect. 


To make sure you’ve got all the information you need, we’ve put together answers to some of the most common questions about space heaters, and their efficiency. 

What is the most efficient type of space heater?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question. How efficient a heater is varies between models and depends on the circumstances in which it’s being used. Electric heaters are all considered to be 100% efficient because they turn all the electricity they draw into heat.

Additional features such as eco-modes can make a heater more energy-efficient. Oil-filled radiators have the lowest cost per kilowatt-hour on our list, but that’s only one part of the equation.

Ultimately, all heaters will be more efficient if used efficiently by taking into account the tips we’ve outlined above.

Want to learn more about home heating solutions? Check our post on the 4 most efficient ways to heat a home.

Are space heaters safe?

Any heating system comes with an element of risk. However, space heaters are far less risky than any kind of open flame. The risk created by having a space heater can be mitigated by using it responsibly:

  • Place your heater at least three feet away from flammable objects such as curtains, furniture, or bedding.
  • Don’t set your heater up on top of furniture or cover it with anything.
  • Be mindful of high-traffic areas and always lay your power cable so it can’t be tripped over or easily knocked loose.
  • As with all electrical appliances, don’t let your space heater come in contact with water, and never touch an electric heater if you’re wet.
  • Don’t leave your space heater unattended for long periods or leave it on if you fall asleep.
  • Always unplug a space heater when you’ve finished using it.

Where should I put my space heater?

Space heaters work best when heating a small space. Most of the heaters on our list are designed to heat areas between 100 and 200 square feet. You’ll get the best use out of your space heater if you don’t try and use it to heat a huge space.

In terms of exact placement, make sure your heater is at least three feet away from flammable objects and isn’t pointed directly at anything you don’t want to fade over time. 

  • Radiant heaters can be placed anywhere in a room.
  • Convection heaters need more air circulation to work properly.
  • Infrared heaters need to be pointed directly at whatever you want to stay warm, including yourself.

Is it OK to leave a space heater on all night?

As a rule, no. You shouldn’t leave any form of heater on without supervision. However, if a space heater is your only source of heat in truly cold weather then you can mitigate the risk somewhat by buying a model with a thermal cutoff, tilt sensor, and a programmable timer.

The thermal cutoff and tilt sensor will keep you safer while the programmable timer means you can set your heater to come on at intervals, rather than running continuously.

Do space heaters use a lot of electricity?

A 1500 watt space heater uses around $100 of electricity per month if it’s running 8-hours a day. making them quite an energy-intensive solution to run continuously. However, it should be noted that space heaters aren’t designed to be permanent heating systems. 

They work best used in short bursts to heat smaller spaces instead of heating a whole house using central heating. Under these circumstances, using a space heater is the more economical solution.

The best energy efficient space heater

A space heater is an excellent and energy-efficient way to warm a space that either doesn’t have heating, or instead of heating an entire house to keep one room warm.

We’re particularly fond of the Dyson HP02 Heater because of its range of features, incredible energy efficiency, and great build quality. However, we’ve listed multiple other options that might better suit your personal circumstances.

If you’ve got a heater you love and think should have made this list, or any tips on how to use a space heater as efficiently as possible, we’d love you to let us know in the comments below!

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